chapter  i
54 Pages

The 'Old Guard'

The army that crossed the Hellespont in 334 B.C. was still very much that of Philip II, its leaders chosen from the firmly entrenched aristocratic families of Makedon. Two years earlier, Alexander had had good reason to fear many of them: challenging his right of succession, a powerful faction might, if it chose, reassert the claims of Amyntas son of Perdikkas who, in the face of a national crisis, had been swept aside in favour of Philip. For Alexander, Philip's assassination could scarcely have occurred at a better time, with both Parmenion and Attalos absent in Asia Minor. Antipatros, for reasons that must have been clear to Alexander, engineered the Crown Prince’s accession, despite the fact that Alexandros Lynkestes, a brother of the convicted regicides, was his son-in-law. Arrhabaios and Heromenes were promptly arrested and executed, as confidants of the assassin Pausanias; Amyntas Perdikka would be eliminated soon afterwards. But a purge, whether in the name of justice or filial piety, could extend only so far. Alexander would have to make his peace with the 'Old Guard'.